Archaeology in the Kelabit Highlands

Our guides, Sylvester and Tony, with hunting dog on a Kelabit trail Remember the pig chase? If you’ve been a reader here for a while, you may recall the story of a wild-boar hunt in the Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak. This wasn’t the entire story. What I didn’t tell you at the time was the…Continue readingArchaeology in the Kelabit Highlands

Friends in the Kitchen

We spent last week in the distant forests of Preah Vihear province. Go to Angkor and head northeast three hours. Follow the bumpy dirt roads through empty lands, past ancient temples rarely visited, past CMAC camps and fields delineated for landmine clearing. Turn down a sand road to Tmatboey, a village of 1,800 people and…Continue readingFriends in the Kitchen

A Papaya in the Works

And so it appeared on Christmas Eve! If you’ve followed Rambling Spoon for the past few months, you might recall previous discussion of a little papaya tree brought to us by our dear friends the birds. Our tiny tree bloomed back in August and we patiently awaited the first signs of a fruit. Will it…Continue readingA Papaya in the Works

‘Tis the Asian Season

‘Tis the season of giving and living. Here’s a hearty hoorah to you, dear readers, for your generous contributions to Menu for Hope III, which, as of this writing, is nearing $43,000 beyond $58,000 in donations. Forty-three thousand dollars! Fifty-eight thousand dollars! That is thoroughly commendable. YEAH!!!! That is truly mind-bending. All proceeds go toward…Continue reading‘Tis the Asian Season

Cooking Buddy

It’s a moth with a death wish. One of the things I love best about our semi-outdoor kitchen is the abundance of life around me while I’m chopping, pressing, frying, squeezing, stirring. It makes me feel all harmonious with nature and food, getting down to the roots, that sort of thing. (Except for gecko excrement…Continue readingCooking Buddy

Picture This…

A clear sky, a nippy morning. A kayak on a quiet lake. A warming sun that impedes the need for fleece. A bag of chips and a jar of salsa. A flock of geese, the scent of cottonwood, the lapping of paddles in water. On land, a canopy of trees in their cheeriest colors. Now…Continue readingPicture This…

Drinking Bamboo

Back to the Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak here: “If you get lost in the jungle, you must find clean water from the bamboo,” our guide, Sylvester, tells us. Bamboo is a grass, one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, with some species reaching 30 meters in height. Some of the tallest, widest bamboos in…Continue readingDrinking Bamboo

And We Eat Pig

Tony, racing through the jungle “Do you want to see hunting?” Sylvester asks. We gather around a vast kitchen table, sipping whiskey in fluorescent light as a generator rumbles outside. We plan the next day’s trek through the Kelabit highlands of Borneo, where Sylvester and his reticent friend Tony will guide us. “No, no that’s…Continue readingAnd We Eat Pig

Big Vegans, Little Carnivores

Pitcher plants in a cluster The smallest carnivores of Bako National Park are plants — tiny sundews, bladderworts and pitcher plants whose structures have evolved to trap ants and other small creatures. The plants, sustained by the nutrients of their decaying prey, grow in high, sandy areas otherwise unsuitable to vegetation. While bladderworts are hard…Continue readingBig Vegans, Little Carnivores